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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Safety-Net, Sports and the End of Summer

The first week of August was chock-full of Olympians continuing to amaze the world. After another golden performance on Saturday, I now share a special connection with one Olympian. Michael Phelps has won 23 gold medals in swimming, or one for every year I’ve been alive.

We hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics and possibly pondering which event they would compete in like these New York Times employees did. Tune in this week for a plethora of track and field events, as well as men’s gymnastics, beach volleyball and many others.

This week is also Safety-Net Clinic Week! To celebrate, the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) is publishing two reports.

Have you heard of practice transformation? CHI’s experts have been studying this broad term that describes organization’s efforts to improve quality of care and reduce costs. The first report for Safety-Net Clinic Week, written by Director of Research on Access and Coverage Jeff Bontrager and Public Interest Fellow Ian Pelto, covers this rising trend and will be out later this week.

School-based health centers (SBHCs) are an important branch of Colorado’s safety net, and CHI has been following this model of care since 2006. Our second Safety-Net Clinic Week report covers SBHCs and includes an in-depth analysis on how they continue to change in Colorado. We’ll answer some important questions, such as how has the ACA impacted SBHCs and what a changing model means for users. Stay tuned for its release.

In case you missed it, last week CHI released its second installment in a series of independent analyses on ColoradoCare. This time, we looked at financing: how much would Amendment 69 cost the state and is it more or less than what the state is already paying? The report answers this and other important questions on what ColoradoCare would mean for the state’s bottom line. Read the report here.

Summer break is just about over for many of Colorado’s high school students. Parents know that high school can be a stressful place for their kids, but what happens during class and in the hallways may be a surprise. The release of the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) revealed interesting and sometimes troubling trends among Colorado’s high schoolers.

CHI is analyzing HKCS data to get a better picture of what students deal with and how it affects their health. Our previous interactive dashboard examined violence among students, including questions around whether they’ve been threatened with or injured by a weapon at school. Our next analysis looks at mental health among high schoolers, revealing troubling news for lesbian, gay or bisexual students and students of color. The dashboard will be out later today.

What matters for childhood obesity in Denver? CHI’s latest analysis on the social determinants of weight looks into four factors that are most associated with overweight children. Our interactive map delves into Hispanic ethnicity, limited education, median household value and family income. If you live in Denver, you can check out your own census tract to get a picture of childhood obesity in your neighborhood.

Have a great week!